International Rescue Committee Head of Office in Syria


The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 7.6 million people are internally displaced and 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.8 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are 4 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.

IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis with an annual budget in excess of $140 million and a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 1,250 staff in the region. IRC is undertaking programs in Syria and the neighboring countries of Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan in the fields of health, child protection, education, women’s protection and empowerment, NFI and food distribution, cash assistance, water and sanitation, and livelihood programming. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding, and coordination.

Job Overview/Summary:

The Head of Office core function is to support the Whole of Syria Country Director and the Senior Management team, based in Jordan, tomaintain robust and positive relations with various Turkish government department and agencies, including AFAD, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkish Red Crescent and governors’ offices of various governorates. As a secondary function the Head of Office will facilitate IRC’s engagement with relevant NGOs forums and coordination groupings in Turkey for cross border programming.

Major Responsibilities*:*

Government Liaison Responsibilities

  • Assist the Country Director and the Senior Management Team to promote IRC’s image externally;
  • Maintain appropriate contact with all relevant local and national government authorities;
  • Act as a key focal point, representing IRC with local and national government authorities and agencies;
  • Proactively coordinate and advocate on IRC’s behalf with local and national officials to ensure that the desired outcomes for IRC’s cross border activities are achieved;
  • Ensure senior IRC staff are aware of and understand any concerns of government officials regarding IRC’s operations, and that such concerns are factored into IRC’s communication strategy and programming;
  • Research any legal or regulatory issues that arise with relevant ministries and government agencies through discussions with government officials, and through all other available sources of information;
  • Manage IRC’s decision book, ensuring it is kept up to date;
  • Manage IRC’s reporting requirements to national and state government authorities (excluding tax and social insurance authorities);
  • Manage IRC Cross Border lists, ensure updates are submitted on time and that all issues or delays in securing approval are followed up in a timely manner;
  • Support the Country Director and Deputy Director of Operation on all issues related to IRC’s registration in Turkey;
  • Ensure all relevant Work Permit and visa applications are submitted in a timely manner. As required actively follow up with relevant governments officials on outstanding Work Permit applications.
  • Prepare and share regular progress reports with internal stakeholders;

Office Management

  • Mange IRC’s office in Ankara, including ensuring all expenditures are incurred and processed in accordance with IRC’s policies;
  • Ensure all financial reports are submitted to relevant government departments and agencies on time, including but not limited to Income Tax, Social security contributions, withholding tax, stamp tax and monthly financial reports with engagement of external accountancy company.
  • Ensure proper controls are in place and operating on all cash and bank accounts maintained in Turkey. Provide monthly cash projections to Finance Controller to ensure availability of sufficient funds.
  • Support the Country Director and Finance Controller on all issues related to government audits and annual reporting, as well as donor audits.
  • Manage any IRC admin staff based in Turkey.
  • Oversee any IRC program staff based in Turkey.
  • Monitor media and security situation in Turkey to ensure IRC programs, staff and visitors are operating in a safe and secure environment. Provide clearances for staff visits and security briefing to visitors, as required.

Professional Standards

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to:Country Director

*Position directly supervises: *None

Indirect Reporting:Deputy Director Operations

Internal:Deputy Director Programs, North West Area Coordinator andRegional Safety and Security Advisor

External:Government, Ministry of Labor, Department of Associations, Tax authorities, NGOs, NGO Forum, relevant Clusters

Job Requirements:

  • Experience working with the government at a senior level;
  • Extensive knowledge of the Turkish system of government and administration;
  • Diplomatic nature;
  • Familiarity with government reporting requirements relevant to an NGO, including Associations Law;
  • Excellent negotiation skills plus negotiation experience;
  • Strong planning, organizational and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to respond to changing priorities;
  • Ability to work independently, be proactive and to self-initiate;
  • Excellent communication skills, verbally and in writing, in Turkish and in English;
  • Strong commitment to IRC’s mission, purpose and values;

Working Environment*: *The position will be based in Ankara, Turkey with frequent travel within Turkey and occasionally to other countries in the region where IRC has operations.

Returning National Candidates: We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the Country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Syria Response Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply. IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs.

Sector: Program Management

Location: Jordan - Syria Cross Border

Employee Type: Regular

Employee Category: Full Time